Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein enzyme that maintains telomere length. Telomerase activity is primarily attributed to the expression of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT). It has been reported that introduction of an intact human chromosome 3 into the human oral squamous cell carcinoma cell line HSC3 suppresses the tumorigenicity of these cells. However, the mechanisms that regulate tumorigenicity have not been elucidated. To determine whether this reduction in tumorigenicity was accompanied by a reduction in telomerase activity, we investigated the transcriptional activation of TERT in HSC3 microcell hybrid clones with an introduced human chromosome 3 (HSC3#3). HSC#3 cells showed inhibition of hTERT transcription compared to that of the parental HSC3 cells. Furthermore, cell fusion experiments showed that hybrids of HSC3 cells and cells of the RCC23 renal carcinoma cell line, which also exhibits suppression of TERT transcription by the introduction of human chromosome 3, also displayed suppressed TERT transcription. These results suggested that human chromosome 3 may carry functionally distinct, additional TERT repressor genes.